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Publication Sexual Victimization in Juvenile Facilities Reported by Youth, 2012

Allen Beck, Ph.D., BJS, David Cantor, Ph.D., John Hartge, Tim Smith, Westat

June 6, 2013    NCJ 241708

Presents data from the 2012 National Survey of Youth in Custody (NSYC), conducted in 326 juvenile confinement facilities between February and September 2012, with a sample of 8,707 adjudicated youth. The report ranks facilities according to the prevalence of sexual victimization, as required under the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 (P.L. 108-79). The prevalence of victimization, as reported by youth during a personal interview, is based on sexual activity in the 12 months prior to the interview or since admission to the facility, if less than 12 months. This report provides state- and national-level estimates of juvenile sexual victimization by type of activity, including estimates of youth-on-youth nonconsensual sexual contact, staff sexual misconduct, and level of coercion. It also explores sexual victimization by the characteristics of both the perpetrator and youth at high risk of victimization, location and time of incidents, and nature of the relationship between youth and facility staff prior to sexual contact.


  • An estimated 9.5% of adjudicated youth in state juvenile facilities and state contract facilities (representing 1,720 youth nationwide) reported experiencing one or more incidents of sexual victimization by another youth or staff in the past 12 months or since admission, if less than 12 months.
  • About 2.5% of youth (450 nationwide) reported an incident involving another youth, and 7.7% (1,390) reported an incident involving facility staff.
  • An estimated 3.5% of youth reported having sex or other sexual contact with facility staff as a result of force or other forms of coercion, while 4.7% of youth reported sexual contact with staff without any force, threat, or explicit form of coercion.
  • Thirteen facilities were identified as high-rate based on the prevalence of sexual victimization by youth or staff. Rates in each of these facilities had a 95%-confidence interval with a lower bound that was at least 35% higher than the average rate of sexual victimization among facilities nationwide.
  • About 67.7% of youth victimized by another youth reported experiencing physical force or threat of force, 25.2% were offered favors or protection, and 18.1% were given drugs or alcohol to engage in sexual contact.

Part of the PREA Publications Series

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National Survey of Youth in Custody (NSYC)

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